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What Is Transcription? Check Out #quotation, #subtitles, #lecture_notes

Andrew Russo
Andrew Russo
Posted in Zoom Apr 13 · 15 Apr, 2016
What Is Transcription? Check Out #quotation, #subtitles, #lecture_notes

Transcription stands for converting an audio or video file into a text document. That might sound a bit vague and distant from your everyday routine. Yet don’t be surprised to find out you actually use transcriptions very often. You just don’t know you do. Quotation, subtitles, lecture notes, karaoke, minutes, dictations – all these illustrate in practice what transcription is about.


Quotation is the written form of someone’s speech, usually recorded by a journalist. Media can’t simply exist without interviews and quotations at least for these 3 reasons:

  • Quotes ensure accuracy

Transcribed words are kind of a warranty that reduces the risk of misreporting what people have said.

  • Quotes provide clarity

Readers can comprehend interviewees’ ideas right in the way they have been shared.

  • Quotes reflect reality

Lively dialogues make media stories and articles more engaging and entertaining.

If you read newspapers for instance, you are a daily user of transcription services. Weird or not, it’s just a matter of fact.


Subtitles are captions displayed at the bottom of a cinema or TV screen that translate or transcribe the dialogue or narrative. They help viewers to understand the spoken phrases better. Honestly speaking, movies without subtitles are completely understood only by native language users.

Same language subtitles are also very beneficial. Matching the subtitles with the meaning gradually becomes an automatic, subconscious process. Viewers of normal intelligence can easily learn to read while watching subtitled videos.

No need to mention that closed captions are crucial for individuals with hearing impairments.

Subtitles and their common uses come to confirm we deal with transcribed speech more often than we think.

#Lecture notes

Although professional transcribers are meant to provide precise copies of words spoken, students could be called transcribers as well. They attend their lectures, carefully listen to their teachers and write their lectures down. Whether their notes follow the lecture word by word and sentence by sentence or they are a brief summary, the idea is the same: spoken phrases transformed into papers.